In last week’s episode, Alpha, the missing rogue Active, had tricked Ballard into helping him break into the dollhouse, attacked Victor’s sweet face with a scalpel, snatched up Echo and took off with her like two kids trying to elope. It was almost romantic, except for, you know, the face-slicing and psychopathic rampage.
This week, in the season finale, we pick up right where we left off. Dr. Saunders, a.k.a., Dr. Scissorhands, runs out of her office, screaming for help. Adelle and Boyd try to lock down the facility but it’s too late — Alpha has escaped with Echo, but not before and imprinting her with a new, sassy personality that digs him deeply, and removing the GPS tracking device from neck.
While Adelle’s security people run uselessly around in circles, and Dr. Scissorhands slowly beginning to wonder why Alpha called her, “Whiskey,” Alpha and Echo drive off into the night in a stolen car loaded up with every imprint she’s ever had, cool, new clothes, and the nice sales girl who waited on them.
Flashback a few years. Alpha and Whiskey — yes, gentle viewers, Dr. Scissorhands has been a doll all along — are on assignment, but Alpha has taken upon himself to turn their client’s benign Bonnie and Clyde fantasy into a scene from Kalifornia.
Aware that the engagement has gone horribly awry, their handlers rush the scene and take Alpha and Whiskey back to the dollhouse for some treatments, leaving the tortured client naked, bleeding and seriously demanding a refund.
As Whiskey pays a visit to the real Dr. Saunders, a kindly old man with white hair and a jar full of lollipops, a newly-arrived Caroline gets the nickel tour of the dollhouse from Adelle. She explains that the contract to become an Active is for five years, but to Caroline, “it’ll feel like an instant.” Unlike sitting through Benjamin Button, which is 165 minutes, but feels like an eternity.
In the present, Whiskey, now known as Dr. Scissorhands, treats Victor’s slash wounds. She tells him bitterly that he’ll never be his best ever again. Nobody wants a doll with a map of Cleveland on his face. So until someone calls with a fantasy involving a road trip through Ohio, Victor will probably be stuck in the dollhouse with the good doctor.
Meanwhile, Ballard, Adelle and Boyd form an uneasy alliance in pursuit of their common goals: apprehend Alpha and rescue Echo. To help with the search, Topher brings in Sierra and November to imprint them with tracking skills.
Giddy with his new backstage pass, Ballard finally gets to see how it’s done. He watches with mild horror as docile, blank Sierra transforms into a badass bounty hunter. November stands next to Ballard, waiting her turn, with no memory whatsoever of being naked with him as his crushy neighbor, Mellie.
When it’s November’s turn to be imprinted, the new Sierra toys with Ballard for kicks.
Sierra: What’s your story? Wait, don’t tell me — that’s OK. I like a little stiff competition. When it turns out you’re not the one who collects the bounty, [whispers] promise you won’t hold it against me.
November: [gets up out of the chair] So, if you’re done molesting the furniture, [eyes Ballard dismissively] can we get these guys?
Sierra: Well, you’re still in your pajamas.
If this show isn’t renewed, I vote for a show starring these two. Who’s with me?
After Thelma and Louise hit the streets to kick some ass and take some names, Topher explains to Ballard the reason for Alpha’s sadistic insanity: he was accidentally imprinted with 48 personalities at once. Oops. I wonder if there’s a sanity clause in the Actives’ contract, in the event of an emergency Nah. There’s no such thing as a sanity clause.
Meanwhile, in an abandon electrical plant on the other side of town, Alpha has built a Barber’s Chair from Hell to call his own. He puts the shop girl in it as Echo watches with all the comprehension of a cocker spaniel; Alpha gave Echo an IQ resembling my bowling score after many, many beers. After the lights wink out and the girl sits up, Alpha studies her face. “Hello, Caroline,” he says. He turns to Echo and says, “Meet yourself.”
Caroline, in the shop girl’s body, takes one look at Echo, in her real body, and wigs.
Shop girl: Oh God. The wrongness of this is so large. Whose body is this?
Alpha: It’s just a body. They’re all pretty much the same.
Shop girl: I think this one wet itself.
Echo: [dumb as a bag of hair] What did you mean, “Meet myself?”
Alpha: This whining, pathetic creature, this self-hating human — that was you.
Echo: Oh. [pause] What?
Everyone wave to Echo.
Flashback: Alpha, Echo and Whiskey are all happy zombies, quietly trimming their bonsai trees. “I like trees,” Echo says to no one in particular. Alpha stares all stalker-y at her. Alpha likes Echo. A handler comes to collect Whiskey. She tells another handler how popular Whiskey is. She’s the most requested doll in the house. All the clients like Whiskey. (Except for the ones in AA.)
Suddenly, Alpha is running with scissors. He jumps Whiskey and starts slashing at her stupid, popular face. “Let Echo be number one,” he says calmly, as hacks at her methodically. Suffice it to say, that is not how one behaves in bonsai class. Alpha gets taken away.
Adelle angrily tells Topher to erase Alpha and send him to the attic. Alpha won’t go quietly into that good night, and in the ensuing fight, is zapped with 48 separate personalities, none of which are Gandhi, I’m pretty sure.
In the present, Adelle and Topher try to tell Ballard that the accident made the monster they know today, even though Alpha was clearly riding the crazy train long before getting Sybil‘d. Ballard presses them until Adelle finally admits Alpha’s original identity maybe was a teensy bit of a convict in a maximum security prison.
Back in crazytown, Alpha puts Echo in the chair while Caroline watches and reminds Echo burnt hair smells really bad.
Echo: He’s going to make me a superior being. An ascended being.
Caroline: Do you even know what that means?
Echo: Do you?
Echo: OK, so you’re not better than me.
Having an argument with yourself and ending it on, “I know you are, but what am I?” is never a good sign.
Alpha cranks up the gonkulator and lets it rip. He imprints Echo with every personality she ever had as an Active. Now they both have the experiences, memories, skills and characteristics of everyone they’ve ever been. He renames her Omega. They are gods now.
Echo promptly grabs a metal pipe and swings for the fences at Alpha’s head. That was so not in the How to Be an Ascended Being in 10 Easy Steps manual.
She’s no dummy anymore. With 38 personalities working overtime in her one pretty head, Echo realizes you can’t be all things to all people, because you’re nobody ’til somebody loves you. And furthermore, it takes a village, but since we are the world, we are the children, all the single ladies, put your hands up.
It becomes clear Alpha is trying to start a master race. Echo smells what Alpha’s stepping in and wants no part of it. She shows him some scissors of her own.
Mama said knock you out.
Echo frees Caroline and offers to take her home, but Caroline balks, saying she’s contractually obligated to return to a removable hard drive “wedge.”
Echo: I have 38 brains. Not one of them thinks you can sign a contract to be a slave, especially now that we have a black president.
Caroline: [amazed] We have a black president?
You think that’s cool? Been to New England lately?
The good news is cut short by a bullet to Caroline’s neck.
Meanwhile, Boyd and Ballard partner up and find a kidnapping victim from when Alpha was a human stain named Carl Craft. The woman meets them in her lobby. They take one look at her face and realize that Alpha was not created at the dollhouse. Meanwhile, she takes one look at them and wonders why they don’t know the proper way to fry bacon safely.
Everyone could use some Neosporin.
In the power plant, a power struggle is going down. Alpha holds a gun to the wedge that holds Caroline’s real personality. Echo, imprinted with an older, aggressive version of Whiskey, tells him to shove it and taunts him, calling him “Edward Scissorpud.” I think I love Echo.
Even though Alpha is the one holding the gun, Echo is badass enough to chase him out onto the roof. He defiantly tosses her wedge over his shoulder, sending to sailing until it lands precariously on an I-beam. Echo crawls out on the beam to retrieve it, but falters at the last minute. The wedge tumbles to a certain death, only to be caught by Ballard.
He saved Caroline, just like he said he would.
After it’s all over, Ballard sits comfortably in Adelle’s office, discussing the terms of his new employment situation. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. He insists on “her” contract being paid in full, even though the five years of service aren’t fulfilled. Adelle agrees.
The door opens. It’s not Caroline, the woman Ballard has been chasing and trying to save all this time. It’s Mellie. Back in her own body, she doesn’t know Ballard from a stick in the ground.
Upstairs, Echo emerges from the chair, wiped clean and ready for bed. She touches Topher’s chest for some unknown reason.
Back in Adelle’s offie, Mellie thanks everyone as she leaves. Ballard asks, “What’s your name?” Her real name is Madelyn. She asks for his, but Ballard simply says, “I’m no one.” Mellie smiles and walks out the door, never to return.
From the other side of the door, I thought I heard, “What? We have a black president?” OK, maybe not.